Friday, May 22, 2009

Buy a Poppy for a Disabled Vet

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae (1872-1918)

Each year I see fewer and fewer men on the street wearing remembrance poppies on Memorial Day, since 1971 celebrated on the last Monday in May. One year I couldn’t even find anyone selling “Buddy Poppies,” the paper replica flowers that the Veterans of Foreign Wars sell to raise money for disabled veterans.

For more than 75 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans’ welfare and the well being of their dependents. According to the VFW, the name “Buddy Poppy” is registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name “Buddy” Poppy.

When you buy your Buddy Poppy to wear this Memorial Day you will be giving material aid to a disabled veteran. And when you wear your Buddy Poppy you will remind to everyone who sees you of the meaning of Memorial Day.

The American Legion also sells crepe paper poppies for Memorial Day. That is another fine organization worthy of your support.

Although the United States Department of Veterans Affairs states “The wearing of poppies in honor of America's war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not Veterans Day” many of us do join our friends from the British Commonwealth nations in wearing the red poppy of remembrance on November 11th as well.

This Memorial Day remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion to cause of liberty.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Rogation Day Collect For Commerce and Industry

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with thy people where they work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this land responsive to thy will; and give to us all a pride in what we do, and a just return for our labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

From Morning Prayer for the Week of the Sixth Sunday in Easter, according to Book of Divine Worship.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mass in St. Mary of the Martyrs, Rome

In the aftermath of the Battle of Actium (31 BC), Marcus Agrippa built and dedicated the original Pantheon during his third consulship (27 BC). Augustus's Pantheon was destroyed along with other buildings in a huge fire in 80 AD. The current building dates from about 126 AD,[4] during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian, as date-stamps on the bricks reveal. It was totally reconstructed with the text of the original inscription ("M·AGRIPPA·L·F·COS·TERTIVM·FECIT", standing for Latin: Marcus Agrippa, Lucii filius, consul tertium fecit translated to "'Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, Consul for the third time, built this") which was added to the new facade, a common practice in Hadrian's rebuilding projects all over Rome. Hadrian was a cosmopolitan emperor who travelled widely in the East and was a great admirer of Greek culture. He might have intended the Pantheon, a temple to all the gods, to be a kind of ecumenical or syncretist gesture to the subjects of the Roman Empire who did not worship the old gods of Rome, or who (as was increasingly the case) worshipped them under other names. How the building was actually used is not known.

In 609 the Byzantine emperor Phocas gave the building to Pope Boniface IV, who converted it into a Christian church and consecrated it to Santa Maria ad Martyres, now known as Santa Maria dei Martiri.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Friday is Straw Hat Day

May 15th is Straw Hat Day the beginning of the season when men may wear their straw boaters and Panamas rather than the fur felt fedoras, porkpies, homburgs, and bowlers that we wear (You do wear a hat, don't you?) the rest of the year. For more information see Straw hats may be worn until Felt Hat Day which is September 15th.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2009 National Day of Prayer

May 7, 2009 National Day of Prayer Boston event State House in room 437 from nine o'clock through noon. Coordinator Pastor Larry Avila 508-989-8528,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Filene's Basement To Sell Boston Store

Filene's Basement To Sell Boston Store

Since the Basement closed "temporarily" so they could destroy Downtown with that pointless hole in ground I have done all my clothes shopping online or with two little old Italian tailors on Pearl Street. I tried Macy's a few times but gave up after never finding what I was looking for (not exotic items, just shirts and ties). That place is so badly laid out that I never did find the men's department, if they have one. But in trying to find it I felt like a WWI doughboy in a mustard gas attack 'cause apparently there is no way to enter the store without passing through at area of vile stench they call the perfume department.

Then I went to Marshalls, TJ Max, and H&M. At least I could find the men's department. It was very small and all three had precisely the same items at exactly the same prices and not a thing I would take if they gave it away. The selection was as varied as that of a Moscow, USSR department story circa 1959. Suits, yep we got 'em two-button, center -- you gots two colors to chose fom. Shirts, sure we got dress shirts, all spread collar, one-button barrel cuff, your choice of six colors and two in stripes (but they only come in a size 15). None in my size (which is not an odd size). Casual shirts, you betcha , four selections of prints, all straight collar and 2-button barrell cuff. None with sleaves long enough for me (it's not like I'm some freak-o-nature or basketball player, just a normal build plus ten pounds overweight). Swimsuits -- about a half-doz. models, all too small for anyone who has eaten in say the last four months.

No wonder retail is dying!

Oh, and I passed by the formalwear shop on Milk St (by "formalwear" they mean, of course a mixture of semi-formalwear and outlandish costumes that band-leaders formerly wore in the warmer months). Half of their display window is given over to t-shirts that look like they were used to clean up used motor-oil spills. I predict that shop won't be around much longer either.